Wisconsin’s temporary Ryder Cup loss will be Adare Manor’s gain as the postponement by a year of the 43rd matches between Europe and the United States now means Ireland will stage the centenary event in 2027.
Organisers bowed to the resurgence of Covid-19 across the USA when it agreed to postpone the biennial matches by 12 months to September 21-26, 2021 after recognising it would not be possible to safely accommodate fans at Whistling Straits this September.
Such has been the growth of the event in recent decades to the point where it was today described as “a rock concert, it is the Superbowl, it is bigger than the game,” by PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh that the idea of having no spectators was deemed unviable.
The PGA of America, Ryder Cup Europe and PGA Tour’s decision to send the Ryder Cup back 12 months and move the President’s Cup from 2021 to 2022, means the former has returned to an odd-numbered year and that Ireland’s hosting of the event at Adare Manor, the recently refurbished resort in Co. Limerick owned by JP McManus and his family, has also been put back, from 2026 to 2027.
“It’s great news for our future venues,” Ryder Cup Europe director Guy Kinnings said, also referencing the new 2023 date for the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone near Rome.
“And as for Adare Manor, well, 2027 will be a truly magical occasion. The island of Ireland already has a very rich history with the Ryder Cup having produced three of the last four European captains including our current one in Mr. Padraig Harrington. It’s also seen many of its players produce winning points for Europe over the years, Christy O’Connor Jr, Eamonn Darcy, Philip Walton, Paul McGinley, and Graeme McDowell and that rich history will now see it stage the centenary Ryder Cup in 2027 with the first match having been played at the Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927.”
There has been no confirmation yet that the newly-created opening in the 2020 calendar will accommodate the postponed Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and though Kinnings, a European Tour official, was invited to discuss that today he did say 2027 date for an Irish Ryder Cup had received the full support of stakeholders on these shores.
“Our links with the Irish Government and Adare Manor and with JP (McManus) and his team have been very thorough. We’ve shared with them, we’ve had lengthy discussions and it will probably come as no surprise to know that they’ve been hugely supportive throughout. They fully understood the situation and they are incredibly excited about what the prospects are for what we think will be an amazing Ryder Cup in Ireland.
“I think the opportunity of it becoming the centenary, which none of us had envisaged will allow us to build on that heritage. The island of Ireland has embraced, we saw it at The Open Championship last year, and what we’re building towards now in 2027m they’ve been very supportive. Of course there are details to work through, and I was involved in conversations with them only this morning, for all the parties and we’ll work them out and we’ll start building towards that.”
Back to 2021, with the European Tour in a separate announcement freezing the team qualification process until January with points already earned still in place. The decision to postpone was applauded by both Harrington and US captain Steve Stricker.
There have long been misgivings about playing a Ryder Cup behind closed doors and Europe skipper Harrington, who saw his three captain’s picks ringfenced today, recognised player influence when speaking to RTÉ Radio this evening.
“Disappointed, this is coming for a number of weeks and it's certainly a relief at this stage,” the three-time major winner said. “The decision was taken for purely health and safety, but there were many complications behind the scenes that would have made it very difficult for me as captain to go there with the players I wanted.
“I think the PGA of American and Ryder Cup had to consider that (fans) and nobody in Europe was going to go over to it, it's like a five-week trip (with mandatory quarantine periods) if you were to go now, and we didn't want the Ryder Cup without the fans, it shows what we think of the fans.
“The players spoke out and it showed they really play the Ryder Cup for the glory of it.”